Company suing Florida over Cuba, Syria ties law

A Florida law that bans state and internal governments from doing business with firms with mercantile links to Cuba and Syria is unconstitutional, according to a lawsuit by a Coral Gables-based auxiliary of a Brazilian engineering conglomerate.

Odebrecht Construction Inc., that has been concerned in some-more than $3.9 billion in state and internal supervision contracts given 1990, contends in a lawsuit that a energy to set U.S. unfamiliar process rests with a sovereign government, not particular states. The magnitude was sealed into law final month by Gov. Rick Scott and takes outcome Jul 1.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Miami sovereign court, also contends that a Florida-based Odebrecht auxiliary is “remote and distant” from another auxiliary operative on a plan to enhance Cuba’s pier of Mariel. Under a law, that plan could jeopardise Odebrecht’s work in Florida. The law relates to projects value $1 million or more.

“The Cuba amendment appears to reprove companies that do not themselves have business operations in Cuba if those companies have auxiliary corporations, primogenitor companies or kin companies that control business operations in Cuba,” wrote Odebrecht’s lawyers, who embody former state Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero.

The Florida association and a one doing work in Cuba are subsidiaries of Brazil’s Odebrecht S.A., that does engineering, construction and other work around a world.

The magnitude was pushed by a Legislature by dual Republican lawmakers from Miami-Dade County. Even as Scott sealed it amid a pushing before a horde of Cuban-American politicians and business leaders during Miami’s Freedom Tower, he voiced doubts that it would tarry a inherent challenge.

In a signing letter, Scott wrote that Congress would have to pass and a boss pointer a law permitting states to levy such sanctions themselves. After that minute sparked an conflict among South Florida’s Cuban-American community, Scott insisted he upheld a law and that he would urge it in court.

Scott orator Lane Wright steady that oath Tuesday.

“It is his pursuit to make a laws of a state and that’s accurately what he intends to do,” Wright said. “He supports this law and he’s station behind it.”

Wright also remarkable that a lawsuit was filed opposite a state Department of Transportation, not a governor, nonetheless DOT is a governor’s agency.

The U.S. supervision has in place a series of mercantile sanctions opposite Cuba.

Odebrecht, meanwhile, pronounced it intends to bid on $3.3 billion in state travel work this year alone — bids that a lawyers contend could be nullified by a law. The high-profile projects Odebrecht has worked on embody Miami’s American Airlines Arena, a new football track during Florida International University, a Adrienne Arsht Center for a Performing Arts in Miami and a Nassau Sound Bridge in Jacksonville.

The lawsuit asks U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore to announce a law unconstitutional and retard any try by a state to demarcate Odebrecht from behest on supervision work. No hearings have nonetheless been scheduled.


Associated Press author Bill Kaczor in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this story.


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Information from: The Miami Herald,